In addition to beautiful mountains and beaches, the Carolinas are filled with a lot of history. These southern states were home to catalysts for change in the Civil Rights Movement, and historic towns like Charleston offer a wide variety of exhibits and galleries. Consider visiting one of these museums in North and South Carolina for an enlightening experience.
Charleston Museum (South Carolina)
Charleston, South Carolina, is famous for its beautiful waterfront views and historic, hometown atmosphere. The Charleston Museum commemorates the city’s history with several galleries, exhibits and historic homes. The museum also offers educational programs for children and events throughout the year. Inside the museum, you’ll find The Armory, which is one of nine permanent exhibits in the Charleston Museum and features historic weapons dating back to 1750. Weapons in this exhibit were used in historic combat, including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and both World Wars. Admission begins at $12 for adults, $10 for youth ages 13-17 and $5 for children 12 years and younger.
Battleship NORTH CAROLINA (North Carolina)
Located in Wilmington, Battleship NORTH CAROLINA sits peacefully on the Cape Fear River. The ship was in use during World War II in the Pacific Theatre and now serves as a memorial and museum to commemorate the sailors and their stories through photographs, oral histories and preserved artifacts. In addition to the sailors’ stories, Battleship NORTH CAROLINA also hosts a significant amount of research, including photograph, paper and book archives about the ship itself. There are guided tours available on Saturdays, but visitors can explore the ship year-round, including holidays. Self-guided admission is $14 per adult with additional fees for guided tours.
BMW Zentrum Museum (South Carolina)
Car enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to the BMW Zentrum Museum, which is located in Greer, South Carolina, next to the only BMW manufacturing plant in the United States; in fact, the BMW Zentrum Museum is the only BMW museum in the country. Inside, you can explore the museum’s gallery and receive an in-depth look at BMW’s auto-making history. The best part is that admission to the museum is free of charge; however, if you’d like a more structured visit, there are guided tours available for purchase.
International Civil Rights Center and Museum (North Carolina)
On Feb. 1, 1960, four African-American students sat down at a “Whites Only” counter in a Greensboro coffee shop. Despite the refusal of service and objections from other patrons, the four students remained seated. Their actions gained nationwide attention, igniting the Sit-In Movement to peacefully protest segregation across the United States. The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is located inside that very café in Greensboro. The museum works to memorialize those students’ actions, the Sit-In Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, as well as inspire modern-day activists to continue the push for equality. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults, with discounts for seniors, students and youth visitors.
The Carolinas have a rich history. Whether you’re just passing through or you’re a Carolina resident, set aside some time to visit one or more of these local museums.
This article is presented by Rick Hendrick BMW Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.